Q: How high is the wall and how is it constructed?
A: The wall stands 24 feet high and is 38 feet wide. The frame is steel, covered by ¾” plywood. Next a concrete like material is applied to the plywood and allowed to dry. Holds of varying sizes and shapes are bolted to the wall, and arranged to give climbers of all abilities a challenge. Over 1500 holes were drilled in the surface, allowing for an unlimited variety of routes to be set.
Q: How safe is indoor climbing?
A: Climbing on an indoor wall is one of the safest ways to be introduced to climbing. The environment is controlled and most climbing is top roped. A rope is feed through an anchor at the top of the wall and attached to the climber and the belayer. The harnesses, carabineers and ropes meet strict standards and can hold loads exceeding 3,000 pounds.
Q: Are you required to wear a helmet?
A: All climbers must sign a release of liability waiver, which contains a statement saying helmets are strongly encouraged but not required. Parents may request that their children wear helmets.
Q: What do I need for equipment?
A: Everything needed to get on the wall, such as harnesses, ropes, helmets, and other hardware are provided by the YMCA.
Q: If I have my own equipment may I use it?
A: You may use your own helmet, harness and climbing shoes. For insurance purposes the YMCA requires you use our ropes, carabineers and belay devices.
Q: What about footwear?
A: Gym shoes, running shoes, lightweight hikers and climbing shoes are appropriate footwear. Absolutely no sandals, boots, street shoes or barefoot climbing is permitted.
Q: What skills must I possess to become belay. certified?
A: The belay certification requires that an individual show proficiency tying knots, has a complete understanding of the belay system, and thorough knowledge of the safety policies and procedures of the YMCA climbing wall. Climber must demonstrate the figure 8, Fisherman’s knot, water knot and the girth hitch. In addition individuals must demonstrate how the climber is attached to the harness, attach belay device, use both a gri gri and an ATC, know the climbing contract, and safely belay and lower a climber. Upon completion of the course you will be given a card indicating you have taken the class and are free to climb on your own.
Q: After passing the certification, can I climb on my own?
A: Yes, as long as you are with another certified climber and there are no activities taking place in the gymnastics area with which you would interfere. The ropes are in place and there will be a bag behind the front desk containing a gri gri, an ATC, 4 carabineers and harnesses. Show your card to the receptionist , they will hand you the equipment, sign in the log book and you are good to go.
Q: Will learning to climb indoors prepare a climber for outdoor climbing?
A: Indoor climbing is in a controlled environment where some of the risks inherent in the sport have been eliminated. In the gym the belays and anchors are all set and the holds are secured, outside this is not the case. Care must be taken to insure that protection is properly placed and climbers must know how to rappel in an emergency situation. Some of the indoor skills are sure to be beneficial outside but additional training and supervision is recommended.
Q: What is the meaning of the term “belay”?
A: Belay is a French word, meaning “to hold fast or tight. The belay is a technique and system of devices that are used to protect a climber. The “Belayer” is responsible for the safety of a climber. They maintain a belay or tight rope to the climber to hopefully minimize injury to the climber in the event of a fall.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Clothing should allow for freedom of movement and not be restricting. If you do chose tight fitting clothing make sure that it stretches. Articles made from Lycra are good. Most folks choose to climb in shorts and a t-shirt Climber should remove rings, watches, earrings, dangling jewelry and tie up long hair.
Q: Do you offer climbing classes?
A: We offer beginner level classes and a climbing certification class. The beginner class is an introduction to climbing. It covers basic climbing techniques, knots, belay training and climbing safety. Theclimbing certification is aimed at the experienced to intermediate level climber who wishes to be “belay certified” and have access to the wall with another certified climber
Q: Is the wall available for birthday parties or organizations for team building exercises?
A: Absolutely! If you are interested in renting the wall contact Joe MacMahan or 443-4112, extension 14. Your group will be provided with a qualified staff person and equipment to get your group climbing.